John Baron MP warns of dire consequences if no coherent strategy on Syria

April 10, 2017
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MP again criticises West’s strategic short-sightedness

Commenting on the West’s overtures to Russia following President Putin and Iran’s hostile response to the US’ bombing of the Syrian airbase, John Baron MP has warned of dire consequences should the international community be incapable of pursuing a cohesive policy, and has again criticised the West’s strategic short-sightedness.

John said:

“The bombing of the Syrian airbase has greatly diminished any chance of a coherent strategy. It is imperative that the West does all it can to ensure Russia and Iran is part of the solution, otherwise there will be no solution. These are crucial moments, for we are on the cusp of a downward spiral which will only lead to more suffering and heightened tensions across the region.

“Those who suggest the chemical attack crossed red lines and could not go unpunished ignore the side-lining of the UN and the increased number of civilian casualties caused by US air strikes following the recent relaxation of the Pentagon’s rules of engagement. Reports suggest the US has admitted killing more than 100 men, women and children in Mosul recently, whilst the monitoring group Airwars claims over 1,000 civilians were killed by US coalition air strikes in March alone – twice that of the number in December.

“There appears a growing chorus of ‘interventionists’ who blame Parliament’s 2013 vote not to bomb Assad for the present ills of Syria. Selective memories prevail. The case for intervention by the Government was part of a wider misguided plan to side with the rebels, which included arming them in Syria and training them outside. Such was the West’s lack of insight regarding this conflict that it soon realised its mistake given many rebels, including Daesh, presented the greater danger.

“The West’s catalogue of errors continues. It has effectively swopped sides during recent years in this vicious civil war, and has previously excluded the key regional powers of Russia and Iran from the negotiating table. Just as it looked as if there may be some chance of co-operation, the US strikes on the Syrian airbase has resulted in raised fences once again. When added to the chronic underfunding of the refugee camps, with the cutting of the food coupon in 2013 directly leading to mass migration, history will not be kind.

“There are those who hope the Syrian crisis will lead to wider conflict. With very few moderates left in the country, it is up to those outside to muster co-operation and a cohesive strategy, otherwise the suffering and regional tensions will only increase. Diplomacy must now prevail.”

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